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Sunshine Spice Cafe opens second location in downtown Boise

A black sign with white lettering says "Sunshine Spice Cafe" with a purple lotus flower on top.
Mónica Esquivel
Boise State Public Radio

The Shams sisters opened their first bakery on Fairview in December 2019, 12 years after moving to the U.S. from Afghanistan. The four women were inspired by their native country’s saffron, also known as the sunshine spice.

Co-owner Homeyra Shams said they wanted to help women back home, to “create jobs for them and also be able to sell something that we can also send some of the profit to women, and help widowed women in Afghanistan.”

Boxes of saffron green tea tied with purple ribbon sit atop shelves at the Sunshine Spice Cafe.
Sofia Blenkinsop
Boise State Public Radio

Their father brought them to the United States because he wanted them to have an education, something out of reach for women and girls in their war-torn country.

After facing multiple setbacks, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the loss of their father, the sisters are now celebrating the expansion of their small business.

“When we look back, we feel a lot … more stronger. Even with all those difficult obstacles we had, we still succeeded. We created a community of customers that love us,” Shams said.

Various pastries sit inside a glass case, with jars of different types of cookies displayed on top of the case.
Sofia Blenkinsop
Boise State Public Radio

Fans of pistachio baklava, cardamom cookies and black sesame passion fruit tarts can now get their fix at the bakery’s second location in downtown Boise.

Before the Taliban banned women from most work following the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2021, saffron fields were one of the few places women could make a living, making up to 90% of the workforce.

The new Sunshine Spice bakery is open now and located on 10th and Bannock in downtown Boise.

Hi! I’m Sofia Blenkinsop, a sophomore at Boise State thrilled to work with Boise State Public Radio. After co-founding a podcast club in high school and writing and editing for my school newspaper, I’m excited to gain newsroom experience with the wonderful folks here at BSPR.
I am currently a junior at Boise State University majoring in Communication with Minors in Spanish and Mexican American Studies. I have also earned my certificate in American Sign Language (ASL). I am fortunate to have taken several educational and inspirational communication and media writing courses while at Boise State. I have been able to witness the power of communication at its best, and the dire consequences of a lack thereof. I seek to exist in a space where I am part of the flow of information, catalyst for positive change and a facilitator for inclusivity and respectful discourse.

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